Intrinsic material properties of trabecular bone by nanoindentation testing of biopsies taken from healthy women before and after menopause

Benjamin J. Polly, Philip A. Yuya, Mohammed P. Akhter, Robert R. Recker, Joseph A. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Postmenopausal osteoporosis in women is characterized by an increase in bone fragility and risk of fracture. In addition to transmenopausal decline in three-dimensional trabecular bone architecture, changes in intrinsic material properties (local stiffness, damping, and hardness) may contribute to increased bone fragility. In this study, nanoindentation was used to quantify transmenopausal changes in the intrinsic properties of trabecular bone. Paired transilial biopsy specimens were used from a previously reported study in which bone biopsies were obtained from women prior to menopause (premenopausal, age 49.0 ± 1.9) and at 12 months past the last menstrual period (postmenopausal, age 54.6 ± 2.2). Elastic and viscoelastic material properties of the trabecular bone were measured using quasi-static and dynamic nanoindentation techniques, respectively. Paired Student's t tests (n = 15) were performed to assess the significance of the measured intrinsic properties. Trabecular bone microarchitecture is compromised in postmenopausal women, and although this loss is associated with a trend toward reduction in some intrinsic properties (storage modulus), we found no statistically significant changes in bone intrinsic properties between healthy pre- and postmenopausal biopsies in the quasi-static results and frequency-averaged dynamic results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-293
Number of pages8
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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